SIA plane bomb hoax: Passengers say plane hovered for 40 minutes

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Passengers on Singapore Airlines flight SQ33, which was delayed after a bomb hoax, remained calm even as fighter jets escorted the Airbus A350-941 to the Changi Airport early Wednesday (September 28).

Alice, an American who declined to be named, said it became clear it would not be a routine flight when the pilot announced over the intercom that the landing had been delayed due to airspace congestion.

About 30 to 40 minutes later, the pilot said there was an unruly passenger on board who needed attention.

A social media user, who goes by the name Vera and said she was a passenger on the plane, said on Twitter at 10:25 a.m.: “This guy yelled at the back of the plane saying there’s had a bomb.”

Flight SQ33, which left San Francisco at 10:26 p.m. Monday (Tuesday, 1:26 p.m. Singapore time), was supposed to have landed at Changi Airport around 5 a.m. Wednesday, having traveled more than 12 hours since San Francisco.

Alice, 60, and her husband are based in Singapore. They were on the flight back here after a three month vacation in the United States.

She said she didn’t hear the unruly passenger make his threat.

The 37-year-old foreign national was arrested by police after the plane, with 209 passengers and 17 crew on board, landed at Changi Airport at 5:50 a.m.

Flight data from tracking site Flightradar24 showed the plane completed three loops over the South China Sea, before continuing to Singapore.

It was then escorted by two Republic of Singapore Air Force F-16 aircraft.

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